• Columbine: 19 years onRapid rise in mass school shootings in U.S.

    The Columbine High School mass shooting occurred on 20 April 1999. More people have died or been injured in mass school shootings in the United States in the past eighteen years than in the entire twentieth century. During the twentieth century, mass school shootings killed 55 people. Since the start of the twenty-first century there have already been 13 incidents of mass school shooting, in which 66 people have been killed.

  • Waco: 25 years onWaco: how the siege became a symbol of government oppression

    By Andrew Crome

    A 51-day confrontation between the FBI and the Branch Davidians – a small offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventists – came to a tragic end outside Waco, Texas on 19 April 1993. Controversy still rages over whether the Davidians started the fire in order to commit mass suicide, or if it was the FBI’s assault which was responsible for the inferno. Researchers have described the siege as a “critical incident” – an event that highlights and exacerbates existing fault lines in society. “Waco” has therefore become cultural shorthand for expressing tensions within American politics and culture.

  • Waco: 25 years onThe deaths of 76 Branch Davidians in April 1993 could have been avoided – so why didn’t anyone care?

    By Catherine Wessinger

    Throughout the 6-week ordeal near Waco, Texas, media coverage of the ATF raid and FBI siege depicted the Branch Davidians as a cult with David Koresh exercising total control over mesmerized followers. It was a narrative that federal law enforcement agencies were happy to encourage, and it resonated with the public’s understanding of so-called “cults.” The story that has emerged is much more complex – and makes one wonder if the tragedy could have been avoided altogether.

  • Dark webWebhose takes aim at the Dark Web

    By Brian Blum

    Fans of the popular TV show “Mr. Robot,” which dives deep into the world of shady hackers and the Dark Web that lurks beyond its better-known counterpart, take note: An Israeli startup is serving notice that the hidden is now visible and even your bitcoins won’t shield you from the long arm of the law.

  • CrimeSpike in London murders can’t be reversed by New York-style police crackdown alone

    By James Treadwell

    A spike in murders in London that saw more people killed in the city in February and March than in New York, has provided newspapers with some sensational headlines. Of the more than 50 murders to have taken place in London so far in 2018, the vast majority are the result of knife crime. While comparisons between murders in New York and London make for a good story, simplistic headlines based on one-dimensional readings of statistics can be seriously misleading.

  • TerrorismThe Baader-Meinhof gang dissolved in 1998 – but some members are still on the run

    Future members of the Red Army Faction – aka the Baader-Meinhof gang — committed their first known attack on 2 April 1968, when two Frankfurt department stores were hit with arson. The RAF dissolved in 1998, but many questions are still unanswered. Three former members of the Red Army Faction are still on the run. A series of robberies in the late 1990s put the authorities back on their trail. These thefts served no apparent political goal: Their only purpose was to finance the fugitives’ lives on the run.

  • Law enforcementYoung Hispanic men may face greatest risk from police shootings

    The police shooting earlier this month of Stephon Clark in his grandmother’s Sacramento backyard has renewed protests over officer-involved deaths of unarmed black men, but research led by Washington University in St. Louis suggests young Hispanic men may face an even greater risk of being killed by police, especially in mixed-income neighborhoods with large Latino populations.

  • U.K. spy attackDeny and distort: A timeline of Russia's changing story on Skripal poisoning

    Since the poisoning of the Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter on 4 March in England, Russian officials have been consistent about one thing: Moscow didn’t do it. Otherwise, they have offered a hodgepodge of theories, evasions, and refutations to parry British accusations that a Soviet-era nerve agent was likely used to poison Skripal and his daughter. British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said on 19 March that Moscow was “not fooling anyone” with its “increasingly absurd” denials of culpability for use of the nerve agent on British soil. Vladimir Putin was trying to “conceal the needle of truth in a haystack of lies and obfuscation,” Johnson said.

  • Street gangsMS-13 is a street gang, not a drug cartel – and the difference matters

    By Steven S. Dudley

    I spent three years at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies chronicling the MS-13’s criminal exploits for the National Institute of Justice. Our study proves that MS-13 is neither a drug cartel nor was it born of illegal immigration. That misconception is fueling failed U.S. policies that, in my assessment, will do little to deter MS-13.

  • The Russia connectionPolice investigating death of Russian businessman in London

    A lawyer says a Russian businessman who associated with a prominent critic of the Kremlin has died in London. Nikolai Glushkov, 68, was found dead at his home in southwest London. Glushkov was friends with Boris Berezovsky, a Russian oligarch who died at his home in Berkshire, England, in 2013. In 2011, Glushkov gave evidence at the court case brought by Berezovsky against Kremlin-friendly oligarch Roman Abramovich. Besides Berezovsky and Glushkov, two other prominent Russian exiles — Aleksandr Litvinenko and Aleksandr Perepilichny — died in Britain in recent years.

  • School shootersSchool shooters: What can law enforcement do to stop them?

    By James Jacobs

    Could the police have stopped Nikolas Cruz before he killed 17 students and teachers, and wounded many others, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School? The answer is: in all likelihood, No: The police did not have grounds to arrest Cruz and, even had they arrested him, that probably would not have prevented his rampage. Florida police have limited options when faced with a potential shooter like Cruz. They can take him to a mental hospital for evaluation. They can try to persuade him to surrender his firearms, but they cannot seize his guns. In Florida there is no “weapons seizure” or “red flag” law authorizing the police to seek a judicial warrant to take weapons away from a person deemed to be a serious threat to self or others. “Curing” Cruz would have been the best outcome. Disarming him would have been second best. Unfortunately, Florida does not have a “red flag” law, which five states already have and more than 20 are considering.

  • The Russia connectionU.K. counterterrorism unit takes over probe into Russian ex-spy's illness

    Britain’s counterterrorism police took over the investigation into the sudden and severe illness of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter as media reported that Skripal’s son died last year of unknown causes on a visit to Russia. Scotland Yard announced that its counterterrorism unit would take charge due to the case’s “unusual circumstances” after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson warned that any involvement of a foreign government in the incident would not go “unpunished.”

  • Hate groupAtomwaffen, extremist group whose members have been charged in five murders, loses some of its platforms

    By A. C. Thompson and Ali Winston

    At least four technology companies have taken steps to bar Atomwaffen Division, a violent neo-Nazi organization, from using their online services and platforms to spread its message or fund its operations. The action comes after ProPublica reports detailing the organization’s terrorist ambitions and revealing that the California man charged with murdering Blaze Bernstein, a 19-year-old college student found buried in an Orange County park earlier this year, was an Atomwaffen member.

  • Gun safetyLarge-scale study on gun-policy effects finds gaps in existing research, with a few exceptions

    The United States has the highest gun ownership rate in the world, with estimates suggesting that Americans own as many as 300 million guns. More than 36,000 people died of gunshot wounds in the U.S. in 2015, and Americans are 25 times more likely to die by gun homicide than residents of other wealthy countries. One of the largest-ever studies of U.S. gun policy finds there is a shortage of evidence about the effects of most gun laws, although researchers from the RAND Corporation found there is some persuasive evidence about the effects of several common gun policies.

  • Mass shootingsIf you want to know how to stop school shootings, ask the Secret Service

    By Jeff Daniels

    While President Donald Trump has not shied away from offering suggestions on how to prevent school shootings – including one controversial idea to arm teachers – what often gets overlooked in the conversation is research on the subject that has already been done. This research includes one major study of school shootings conducted in part by the very agency charged with protecting the president of the United States himself - the U.S. Secret Service. Has this research been ignored or just forgotten?